Turkey’s Erdogan: Khashoggi’s killing was planned, carried out in ‘savage way’

Turkey’s Erdogan: Khashoggi’s killing was planned, carried out in ‘savage way’
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday laid out the details of his country's investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, claiming that his death was planned by Saudi operatives.

"It is clear that this savage murder did not happen at the drop of a dime but was a planned affair," Erdoğan told members of Turkish parliament, according to The New York Times.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi leadership, was killed in a "savage way," Erdoğan said.

The Times reported that Erdoğan largely confirmed details that had already been leaked to state media. He did not address reports that the government had audio and video of the killing, and did not directly implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

His account did contradict that of Saudi leadership, which claimed that Khashoggi's death was accidental and the result of a physical altercation gone wrong at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"This murder might have been committed at a consulate building which may be considered Saudi Arabian land, but it rests within the borders of Turkey," Erdoğan said, calling for the 18 Saudis detained in the case to be tried in Turkey.

Khashoggi's death has been the subject of international outcry since he disappeared on Oct. 2.

Saudi leadership has offered changing explanations for what happened to the journalist, first denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, then claiming he died in a "fight" at the consulate.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE said Monday he was "not satisfied" with the Saudi explanation for what happened, but hours later indicated he believed Khashoggi's death was the result of a "plot gone awry," as Saudi leadership has suggested.

The president has alternately accepted each Saudi defense of what happened to Khashoggi, and called for "severe" consequences for those responsible in his death.

CIA Director Gina Haspel traveled to Turkey on Monday as Erdoğan prepared to disclose the results of country's investigation into Khashoggi's killing 

Lawmakers have vowed to impose harsh sanctions on Saudi Arabia in the matter, and some have called for the crown prince to be removed from power if he's found responsible.